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working aperture inside


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#1 Daniel Madsen

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 08:33 AM

What is the largest aperture you have ever worked at in an interior location and why (DOF, resolving power of lens...etc.) ???
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#2 Greg Gross

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 10:48 AM

Hello Danielle,
I'm assuming that you are shooting inside at 500ASA. Intensity of lighting can have an affect
on your DOF. So you be will taking a meter reading. The meter reading will be based on your
ASA and shutter speed. I use a Spectra IVa and I have only limited experince using 16mm
film and camera. Most of the time I'm shooting in digital video and so I'm using a monitor to
determine exposure. I'm assuming that you want a shallow effect as we see when shooting
film. If you would want an extreme DOF you probably would want to be shooting in video or
digital cinema format. With cine lenses a wide angle lens vs a longer focal length lens would
also have to considered. If you look at one of today's Arri cine lenses(35mm) you may see
a range of apertures from T1.9 to T22. I'm just assuming that you would probably be shoot-
ing in the range of T1.9 up to T2.8 maybe you would reach T4. I just took this lens off the top
of my head. I have no idea what lenses you are using due budget etc. . Some of the old cine
lenses had aperture ranges of T3.6 and up(a slow lens). The mood of your scene,script is going
to determine how you light your scene. The intensity of light,quality of light,direction of light is
going to determine the working aperture based on your ASA. I"m just assuming that you probably
will be using 500ASA. If you get a chance to see the new film "The Good Sheppard" take note
of the close-ups and how well they are lit and see how you like the technical aspects of the pho-
tography. Its the best example I can think of right now. I am still a learning cinematographer but
a long time professional still photograhper so there are many more guys/girls here on forum that
are more experienced than me. I'm sure you will be getting more excellent advice here. My app-
roach to filmmaking is to try to keep it as simple as possible and to stay ahead with the problem
solving. Hope I have helped you with your thinking process.

Greg Gross
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#3 Max Jacoby

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 11:39 AM

Most interiors are shot between T2 and T2.8 in spherical. Anamorphic ideally is between T4 anf T5.6. The most I can remember was the courtyard scene on 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' (which was an interior set) and that was somewhere between T5.6 and T8.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 01:04 PM

Anyone who shoots regularly at some point will have shot a scene at all sorts of stops. I've shot some scenes at T/1.4 and others at T/16!

Max is right about industry trends though -- T/2.8 is very popular in general for lighting an interior. I spent the whole day yesterday on a soundstage shooting night scenes with two cameras at T/2.8... but it meant not using my two T/3 Cooke zooms and instead using our one T/2.8 Primo 11:1 zoom and Zeiss prime lenses. Normally I work around a T/2.8-4 split because of the Cooke zooms we carry, but I was shooting a scene lit with Christmas tree lights in the background, a pool light in the foreground, and didn't want to stop down too much. Plus I had a little diffusion on the lens and the Cooke zooms shot wide-open at T/3 get a little mushy.

I've never felt comfortable making a habit of lighting scenes to a T/2 because I don't want to make things so hard on the focus puller and actors in terms of holding focus on close-ups as they move around. However, for night exterior work, it would not be unusual to work at a T/2.
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